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GC.68OC, GOLD GRANDE, YAQI CHROME MELLON - A JOURNEY

I’ve recently acquired these three beauties. The commonality of each razor was, first time shaves rewarded me with BBS. That was very uncommon for me. Especially three for three. I haven’t any idea why, other then they are all open combs. I am not overly technical, I will rotate a brush for each shave and rotate a different soap after the third razor. I face & head shave two times on a Voshkod blade. Voshkod will be my only fixed anchor. I hope my journey will bring good to better and better to best for all aspects of my shave. I need to find out if I’m an exclusive open comb dude, right now I have one foot over the line.

I have six brushes but only rotate three. One synthetic will be gone, another synthetic is for some kind of an emergency or travel. My Semouge 2000 is waiting for some o rings to butch up the loft and if that doesn’t work it’ll be gone. Ok brush freaks, I do have four knots and handles, some at home the rest in the mail. These will be assembled and pressed into use when the parts arrive. I have never knotted a brush and will include this process in the journal.

I probably have around fifteen soaps and five samples. I will be using one soap for three consecutive shaves which I have never done, with DE shaving. I shave every third or fourth day so only eight face & head shaves a month. In order to challenge myself I’m locking down all new purchases. I feel when I can write a concise detailed review on strengths and weaknesses between the three I will have completed the journey. Other than price and physical appearance these razors are identical to me and I know that is not the case. I need to know open comb Full-On or just another option in the line up. I will hop into action around Easter Sunday. Thank you for reading my plan. All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
 

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A nice start to the journal. I'll be reading with interest.
Thanks I am looking forward to sorting a few things out. I think a journal will provide the right amount of discipline to get the job done.
 
I’ve recently acquired these three beauties. The commonality of each razor was, first time shaves rewarded me with BBS. That was very uncommon for me. Especially three for three. I haven’t any idea why, other then they are all open combs. I am not overly technical, I will rotate a brush for each shave and rotate a different soap after the third razor. I face & head shave two times on a Voshkod blade. Voshkod will be my only fixed anchor. I hope my journey will bring good to better and better to best for all aspects of my shave. I need to find out if I’m an exclusive open comb dude, right now I have one foot over the line.

I have six brushes but only rotate three. One synthetic will be gone, another synthetic is for some kind of an emergency or travel. My Semouge 2000 is waiting for some o rings to butch up the loft and if that doesn’t work it’ll be gone. Ok brush freaks, I do have four knots and handles, some at home the rest in the mail. These will be assembled and pressed into use when the parts arrive. I have never knotted a brush and will include this process in the journal.

I probably have around fifteen soaps and five samples. I will be using one soap for three consecutive shaves which I have never done, with DE shaving. I shave every third or fourth day so only eight face & head shaves a month. In order to challenge myself I’m locking down all new purchases. I feel when I can write a concise detailed review on strengths and weaknesses between the three I will have completed the journey. Other than price and physical appearance these razors are identical to me and I know that is not the case. I need to know open comb Full-On or just another option in the line up. I will hop into action around Easter Sunday. Thank you for reading my plan. All comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
New Rules: I am not overly technical, I will rotate a brush for each shave and rotate a different soap after the third razor. I face & head shave two times on a Voshkod blade. Voshkod will be my only fixed anchor.

Voshkod blade two uses face & head shave, blade flip after 1st use.

I will rotate a brush for each shave

Same brush and soap for all three razors and then rotate for next round. (shaves are three - five days apart, the brush will be fully dry before each use) The only time I’ve used a brush for consecutive shaves was for breaking in considerations. My Chubby Boar and Horse Hair brush are fully broken in.

I have a lot to learn, this is my ninth month of DE shaving. My brush and soap experience goes back to the 80’s. Everything I’ve learned about soap and brushes has mostly been here at B&B in the last nine months. Using tools with a better understanding of them has elevated my shave experience and it’s a lot of fun learning new stuff.

I have had two shaves on each razor so a basic familiarity has been established with the razors. Looking forward to my first shave start tomorrow.
 
De shaving painfully taught me pre shave prep and post shave care are more important then the shave. I have very sensitive neck and moustache skin areas. I have normal head skin. I always shower before a full face and head shave getting the maximum amount of hydration. I will be using GD Preshave with all my soaps. All mentions of soap performance will be with pre shave. Our house is on well water and we soften the water. I’m a cold water shaver. Cold softened well water makes wonderful lather. I’ve never wet shaved in the morning. I shave anywhere between late afternoon to evening.

SHAVE # 1
GC.68OC
Voskhod (1)
Plisson Silvertip
Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica
Grooming Department Moisturizing Eucalyptus and Spearmint Preshave
Alum Block
Witch Hazel
Hyaluranoic Acid
Lucky Tiger After Shave
Saponificio Varesino Splash

The GC.68OC was my first open comb shave. I use short strokes, I find it easier to make adjustments keeping the razor angle as steep as possible. The blade feedback is muted with a very solid edge feel. The razor is handle heavy. The HD is my favourite GC handle. This is the heaviest of the three razors yet once the shave starts it does not feel like a heavy razor. The strokes are smooth and glide effortlessly through a four day growth. With good audio and blade feedback it is easy to maintain the angle. My usual three pass wtg/xtg/atg was smooth with good comfort. I needed an extra fourth pass on my left side neck and the usual buffing along the chin lines. Open combs excel in buffing because of the extra lather available. I also find that the rinsed comb seems to hold more water in the teeth adding to slicker buffing. The .68OC had no problems gently buffing my moustache areas one of my sensitive spots, with good comfort. Satisfied with a respectable BBS face shave I moved onto the skull.

Head shaving requires confidence in the razor especially the back of the head which is all done by feel. The .68OC fits the bill here it is comfortable in the hand and easily maneuvered. This is my third use of the razor and I had no problems switching to the left hand even on the first use. I have two crazy hair spots left and right side on the back of my head. The razor is so efficient that these two problem areas do not require extra buffing. These spots used to hold me back from a BBS. My usual three pass wtg/xtg/atg was smooth with good comfort. A respectable BBS. I’m a big fan of the RazorRock Razors. The Grande and Yaqi are fierce competition I’ve shaved twice on each of them. Right now all three are equal to me. Happy Easter.🐰
 

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I Liked my Semogue 2000 until I got brushes with shorter lofts and stiffer backbones. I class this brush strictly as a bowl brush. It is a painting brush without backbone. My Plisson silvertip is softer than the Semogue but not by much. So I’m converting Mr Semogue into Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. My box of o rings came in from Amazon. I rolled one on and the loft stiffened up. I tried a test lather on my face and still an incredible amount of splay and faint hint of backbone. I set the brush to dry and pondered moving the o ring up just above the glue bump. I tried another face lather and Bonzer. A small tight knot very good softness a small amount of splay with pleasant scrub. I do not know if Mr Hyde is up to the rigorous task of three face and head passes plus clean ups. I will put Mr Hyde into rotation and see what happens. For drying I can roll the o ring back onto the handle.
 

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SHAVE # 2
Gold Grande
Voskhod (1)
Plisson Silvertip
Grooming Department Moisturizing Eucalyptus and Spearmint Preshave
Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica
Alum Block
Hyaluranoic Acid
Witch Hazel
Lucky Tiger After Shave
Saponificio Varesino Splash

Third time using the Grande and I can make a bold statement. I’m really thinking I’m an open comb dude.

It is easy to understand the fierce devotion for the Grande. The Grande is the middle weight and the most neutral for balance. The razor comfortably maneuvers on it’s rounded teeth gliding so easily. The blade feed back was very solid and firm moving through a five day growth effortlessly. Second and third passes were quieter with most of the whiskers gone. Shaving with a steep angle delivers an efficient, smooth, comfortable stroke. The Grande is also a great buffer. The overall weight balance and feel in my hand, now makes it my favourite. Shaving the back of my head by feel and switching hands is the confidence the Grande inspires. The blade alignment is a challenge to see how fast I can do it. The handle is a tad slippery. Short of those two minor details, I love the Grande. Both face and head were comfortable BBS.

The open combs have been so efficient that I usually get an extra day between shaves. When I started DE shaving I did not think it would be possible to get consistent BBS shaves. I am getting consistent BBS shaves and very pleased, as well as a bit surprised.

The Plisson Sivertip I purchased in 1986. I’ve only ever used a two band and Silvertip until 2019. Using only one word to describe this brush. Luxurious. The brush loads, holds, and delivers lather with little effort and fuss. I face and head lather exclusively. The scrub is light but when splayed moves toward light medium. This is my champion painter. Velvety soft strokes, softest of my brushes. The hair will flatten out like a paint brush but with a slight twist your back to gentle scrubbing. I love badger brushes and this brush has been an outstanding performer for years.
 

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I Liked my Semogue 2000 until I got brushes with shorter lofts and stiffer backbones. I class this brush strictly as a bowl brush. It is a painting brush without backbone. My Plisson silvertip is softer than the Semogue but not by much. So I’m converting Mr Semogue into Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. My box of o rings came in from Amazon. I rolled one on and the loft stiffened up. I tried a test lather on my face and still an incredible amount of splay and faint hint of backbone. I set the brush to dry and pondered moving the o ring up just above the glue bump. I tried another face lather and Bonzer. A small tight knot very good softness a small amount of splay with pleasant scrub. I do not know if Mr Hyde is up to the rigorous task of three face and head passes plus clean ups. I will put Mr Hyde into rotation and see what happens. For drying I can roll the o ring back onto the handle.
This experiment is shelved and canceled because the balance of my brush order came in. I’ve epoxied my four knots into their handles at noon today. Semogue 2000 was the first first boar brush l purchased. The Semogue didn’t have any odour and required very little break in time. The knot is the opposite of full or dense it is a very airy knot. The softness is extremely close to my Plisson Silvertip, which is the reason it wasn’t gone. The last time I used the brush even with a three finger barber assist the backbone was very weak. Owning this brush taught me. I need a minimum of medium backbone. I do not care for long lofts. I prefer denser or SHD knots. I prefer a higher quality of brush, for example my Zenith Chubby Scrubby is head and shoulders a better brush and probably twice the price. I am glad that I purchased the Semogue 2000, I needed a starting point with boar brushes. I would recommend this brush for a bowl latherer who prefers a weak backbone very soft hair and an excellent painting brush.
 

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Glue, Plans, Work Related Injury

I was disappointed having to release the hounds on AliExpress to get the second half of my order 86days later. All other items ordered were delivered in posted time. Hoping this is a one-off because I will continue shopping AliExpress.

This was my first attempt at putting brushes together and for a particular reason. My Plisson Silvertip under loading has developed a little click, so I know the glue will let go and the knot will come out. I thought why not buy a couple of cheap boar knots and handles. Put them together for the experience and get a feel for the process. We all know plans need to be flexible so why not get a couple of badger knots, which will be easy to do after I practice on the boars. I was not in any hurry because I needed to study up on the process and find out how. Quite a few different threads here on B&B, a half dozen YouTubes and I‘m good to go.

The white boar knot, the Finest Two Band Chubby Fan Badger and the two-tone handles came from DsCosmetic. The yellow boar knot and the OUMOBRUSH-SHD SILK HMW slivertip knot gel tip and the two acrylic handles are from OumoBrush Store.

First off the described DsCosmetic’s description of the two band Chubby is the exact opposite of any chubby I’ve seen. 28mm with 75 loft from plug bottom. I believe they mean SHD which the knot is. The Silvertip 26mm loft 67mm from plug bottom Looks and feels like a chubby. Oumo considers a chubby to be 60 - 62 mm. It sure looks like a chubby. The acrylic handles I purchased were not my first choice. The blue 28mm handle turned out to be better than expected and very happy with it. The 26mm acrylic the most expensive handle is a little disappointing. I was lucky by happenstance to get proportional good size handles to knots imho.

I love straight forward basic operations and that’s what this is. Fitting a round plug into a round hole. I used wood grade 220 grit sand paper and sanded any bottom edge off the plugs. Sanded the gloss surface off the plugs. My only original contribution was to chamfer the bottom plug edge. Sanded the handle holes to fit the brush plug and the plug glue bulge. Four handles, four sheets of paper, four hours later. The holes are washed out with Dawn soap and will be epoxied next day.

Important stuff you need to know and consider.

The brush measurement a half a dozen mm above the plug is wider than the plug. So a 26mm knot in my case is 28.5mm and the handle hole is 27mm. No problem make the hole bigger. A bit of a disappointment on the construction of my most expensive handle. $38.00 cad. The wall thickness of the handle is thinner than I would like. The wood inlay has a thin part (as seen in photo) that isn’t that smooth on the outside finish and I suspect it could be a weak point.

How do you know it’s a good fit? Get four of em’ and as you start to compare you’ll feel the best ones and the feel speaks for itself. I was lucky that way. Dropping the plug into the hole you should feel the plug make flat contact with the handle. You should be able to rotate the knot in the handle freely without bending any hairs. The bloomed brush will swell and take up that space.

Pro Tip
My 28mm blue acrylic handle had a sharp inside edge, this is an abrasion point for the hair. It must be chamfered. My 26mm acrylic came with a chamfer.

Loft considerations are paramount for a brushes performance. If you need to drill out a handle, which goes way beyond my pay grade. That’s rebuilding the handle before you fit a knot. The depths in the plastic handles were 15mm and the plugs 7mm thick. Blue acrylics is 17, the other acrylic is 15. The white boar is a shorter loft and I’ll probably like it. The yellow boar has a longer loft and I’m hoping a stiffer backbone than my Semogue 2000. I have no idea of exactly what to expect from the badgers I’m hoping nice.

The blue acrylic handle build and finish quality was the best of the four. $28.00 cad. Both acrylic handles sanded easier than the two-tone plastic handles. I think the bottom stump is maybe acrylic and the cemented on collar is possibly fibreglass. That’s what it smelled like when I was sanding it. Both badger knots moved or rotated smoother than the plugs in the plastic handles (difference of material). I epoxied the badgers first from right to left in the photo. So much for plans.

Pro Tip
Proper job planning, proper work space preparation, procedure rehearsal equals job success. Either use painters tape. Tape a service area for mixing the epoxy or my favourite a glossy magazine cover mask taped to work area. Since I was doing four brushes I did a dry run and had little items around because you are time limited.

Even if you make sure your little black utility brush doesn’t have any loose bristles. Count on having to deal with them. I had two for the four brushes, no problem I expected them. Mr Gorilla 🦍 says you need to mix epoxy and hardener 20 seconds and you five minutes. I painted all floor surfaces in all handles went back to first plug and painted bottom and edges of the plug. Put a little medium not so big dollop on the bottom of the plug. Inserted knot into handle hole to bottom and gave it a little 1/4 inch twist, hands off. Repeat three more times 7 minutes and 57 seconds done. The glue was starting to get tacky and lumpy. Remove masking tape carefully fold over and discard. I am looking forward to blooming the brushes tomorrow after lunch. 24 hour cure time.

Even with care and planning I forgot safety and sanded a little notch into my index finger nail and got a blood blister as well. Why oh why didn’t I wear gloves to protect myself from injury. I used to know safety.
 

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Blooming & Breaking in Brushes
I was very pleased with the epoxy job. I have never done it before. Now I’m confident when my knot drops out of my Plisson. No problem. in 1986 I purchased my Plisson and a pair of two band badgers. The Yaqi and Oumo knots are my first badger purchases since then. I must say these are not your daddy’s badgers or your granddaddy’s badgers. There should of been music with the blooming. I was surprised. We could say big, but I’m thinking Jumbo. Each badger was done the same, hand lather up with dawn detergent, complete rinse and repeat. Hand lather up Proraso Red, rinse and repeat. Jumbo blooms hold so much water the weight can literally pull the brush out of your hand. It happened with both brushes, until I held on tighter. The hairs on both brushes will go through the same routine next time with longer lather soaks to help with the medium animal funk. I am in no hurry to use them and will repeat the breaking in process until the brushes are smelling and feeling good. These knots will be interesting to use. Photo of my Plisson beside them shows what I have been used to for size. Full face and head shaves will give them plenty of skin. I still have an uncomfortable feeling with and about the chubby acrylic handle. So I’ll be keeping a lookout for 27 or 28 mm chubby handles. The Barber Pole Tuxedo is a 30mm knot looking small beside the 28mm badger.

The two boars went though the same bloom routine and now they will start their break in. Twenty four hours in refrigerator, hand lather session, towel workout, let brush totally air dry out and repeat process. This process will be repeated three or four times as required. The black and white boar feels very much like my Zeinth Chubby only smaller. The aqua badger feels somewhere between the Zenith Chubby and the Zenith Horse. They will both change considerably as they reach their sweet spot. After breaking in the Zeinth Chubby and the Zenith Horse I am not remotely interested in how a brush feels on my face and head skin while it’s breaking in. Been there done that. My sensitive moustache and neck skin areas are exonerated from any more breaking in duties. The animal funk on both boars is lighter than the funk on the badgers. I am looking forward to preparing these beautiful brushes for use. Other than the disappointing construction of the acrylic chubby handle, this has been a fun brush experience.

The two boar handles were $22.37, two boar knots $27.00 the two band $40.41 the silvertip $52.88 blue acrylic handle $26.57 chubby acrylic handle $39.86 total $209.09 cad or $148.04 usd which is a nice price for four brushes.

AliExpress have their 11 11 sale November 11th. I missed last years but looking forward to this years.
 

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SHAVE # 3
Yaqi Chrome Mellon
Voskhod (1)
Plisson Silvertip
Grooming Department Moisturizing Eucalyptus and Spearmint Preshave
Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica
Alum Block
Hyaluranoic Acid
Witch Hazel
Lucky Tiger After Shave
Saponificio Varesino Splash

I had incorrectly referred to the Grande as being the middle weight in shave #2. The Chrome Mellon is the middle weight of the three. The Mellon head is sold separately the handle is a sold brass chrome plated 70mm handle. I feel like a pin ball between these razors. I liked shave #2 better than #1 and now shave three is most definitely the best shave. On the second pass I recalled @Esox posts on riding the cap with a steep angle and adjusted in that direction. I’ve read and studied the diagram with the lines and angles a couple of times. It was easier to cap ride on face vs head but the effort rewarded me with an ultra skin comfort shave. Unbelievable to me that I keep being able to clock BBS shaves, but I do. The main difference now is just how comfortable and tonights shave was so good. The GC.068 is next up and because of today’s memorable comfort I’ll be cap surfing like a madman. I had not achieved the silence of the whiskers stroke but I felt my angle moving in that direction because the audio changed. The Mellon with the slits in the cap make it glide more comfortable than the bar teeth is the feeling I got. I feel the Mellon is certainly the winner right now for comfort. A change of brush and soap for the next triple.

Saponificio Varesino Felce Aromatica is my favourite scent of the soaps I’ve tried. It has good lather I could dial in whatever I wanted. I like foamy first pass and thin and slick for two and three. SV is good cushion decent lube and glide. The pre shave gives me the glide I want on the first pass. The post shave is comfortable but not top rated. I really like the after shave splash. This is the only SV I’ve tried and I might try another.

The same brush and soap for three shaves in a row was a first for me since starting DE shaving. Now with four new brushes in the pipeline it’ll be a while to get to shave all of them. Acquiring boar brushes and a horse hair this year had taken me away from my Plisson badger. I am very happy with the chubby boar and the horse hair. Using the Plisson for three shaves reaffirmed my fondness for badger and I believe my two new badgers will be real nice additions.
 

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Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Welcome to the journals section!

Third time using the Grande and I can make a bold statement. I’m really thinking I’m an open comb dude.

It is easy to understand the fierce devotion for the Grande. The Grande is the middle weight and the most neutral for balance. The razor comfortably maneuvers on it’s rounded teeth gliding so easily. The blade feed back was very solid and firm moving through a five day growth effortlessly. Second and third passes were quieter with most of the whiskers gone. Shaving with a steep angle delivers an efficient, smooth, comfortable stroke. The Grande is also a great buffer. The overall weight balance and feel in my hand, now makes it my favourite. Shaving the back of my head by feel and switching hands is the confidence the Grande inspires. The blade alignment is a challenge to see how fast I can do it. The handle is a tad slippery. Short of those two minor details, I love the Grande. Both face and head were comfortable BBS.

The open combs have been so efficient that I usually get an extra day between shaves. When I started DE shaving I did not think it would be possible to get consistent BBS shaves. I am getting consistent BBS shaves and very pleased, as well as a bit surprised.
I'm with you about OC razors. I much prefer them to SB razors.

The balance of the Fatip razors is perfect in my experience and I dont think I could balance one better if I did it myself.

Them being such quiet shavers is from the blades inability to flex and vibrate. My Gillette Regent, which is a far less rigid design and one of the generations of Gillette TTO's that are known for being very audible razors became almost as silent when I increased the rigidity of the blade. You can see what I did in post #1338 here.

The handle can be very slippery with even a little bit of soap, but not so bad just being wet. I almost threw mine into the sink shaking it off once with lather on my fingers.

I had never had a BBS shave until I started with DE's again. That was my goal, a comfortable and long lasting BBS shave done with as few passes as I could manage. My Grande delivered that easier and more comfortably than any other DE razor I'd used and its not all that far behind my GEM SE's.

On the second pass I recalled @Esox posts on riding the cap with a steep angle and adjusted in that direction. I’ve read and studied the diagram with the lines and angles a couple of times. It was easier to cap ride on face vs head but the effort rewarded me with an ultra skin comfort shave. Unbelievable to me that I keep being able to clock BBS shaves, but I do.
Riding the cap with a shallow angle. The red line is shallow, the green line is steep.

Angles.JPG

The optimum angle can be difficult to find, its weird not feeling any blade but once you do find it, its pretty easy to maintain and yes, gentle on the skin.

Head shaving would be more like doing the same along my jawline or face of my chin. I cant use as much pressure in those places because bone is closer to the skin. Because of that I'm forced to shave a bit steeper, but thats okay because I generally shave steep in those places anyway.
 
Welcome to the journals section!



I'm with you about OC razors. I much prefer them to SB razors.

The balance of the Fatip razors is perfect in my experience and I dont think I could balance one better if I did it myself.

Them being such quiet shavers is from the blades inability to flex and vibrate. My Gillette Regent, which is a far less rigid design and one of the generations of Gillette TTO's that are known for being very audible razors became almost as silent when I increased the rigidity of the blade. You can see what I did in post #1338 here.

The handle can be very slippery with even a little bit of soap, but not so bad just being wet. I almost threw mine into the sink shaking it off once with lather on my fingers.

I had never had a BBS shave until I started with DE's again. That was my goal, a comfortable and long lasting BBS shave done with as few passes as I could manage. My Grande delivered that easier and more comfortably than any other DE razor I'd used and its not all that far behind my GEM SE's.



Riding the cap with a shallow angle. The red line is shallow, the green line is steep.

View attachment 1090388

The optimum angle can be difficult to find, its weird not feeling any blade but once you do find it, its pretty easy to maintain and yes, gentle on the skin.

Head shaving would be more like doing the same along my jawline or face of my chin. I cant use as much pressure in those places because bone is closer to the skin. Because of that I'm forced to shave a bit steeper, but thats okay because I generally shave steep in those places anyway.
Thank you for the welcome. I am enjoying the journal.

Them being such quiet shavers is from the blades inability to flex and vibrate. My Gillette Regent, which is a far less rigid design and one of the generations of Gillette TTO's that are known for being very audible razors became almost as silent when I increased the rigidity of the blade. You can see what I did in post #1338 here.

The three hard clampers I’m using all sing. Is that noise the whole razor as opposed to the blade?

The optimum angle can be difficult to find, its weird not feeling any blade but once you do find it, its pretty easy to maintain and yes, gentle on the skin.

Thank you for straightening me out on shallow and steep, it still hasn’t burned in yet. I will continue to lick 👅 the picture until it burns 🥵 in.

Head shaving would be more like doing the same along my jawline or face of my chin. I cant use as much pressure in those places because bone is closer to the skin. Because of that I'm forced to shave a bit steeper, but thats okay because I generally shave steep in those places anyway.

I think about it every time I shave my neck (my most sensitive skin) on first pass I’m 100% cap surfer. On second, third and buffing passes I automatically switch to steep angle, at least thats what it feels like to me. I guess I’m still trying to figure out out exactly what I am doing. My changes in all technique and touch have been instinctive.

I have only started De shaving in July. I have been a brush and face lathering since the middle 80’s. The three pass shave appeals to me for the lathering as much as the cutting. I feel the efficiency of the three open combs can easily deliver a two pass shave with technique improvement. I seriously do not want give up a lather pass. One of my recent acquisitions 28mm two band. It is big, it is soft. I have already bonded with this brush. The break in continues.
 

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Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
The three hard clampers I’m using all sing. Is that noise the whole razor as opposed to the blade?
I think so yeah. My Grande is silent, the same way a sharp fine toothed file is silent on a well clamped piece of heavy steel. It 'hums' more than anything.

Thank you for straightening me out on shallow and steep, it still hasn’t burned in yet. I will continue to lick 👅 the picture until it burns 🥵 in.
No worries! I shave both shallow and steep so I can relate haha.

My changes in all technique and touch have been instinctive.
Thats likely the best way. I learned to shave in the early 1980's with my fathers old Gillette Rocket and switched to cartridges in the late 80's. The fundamentals were still there when I came back to using DE's four years ago. My technique has obviously improved by leaps and bounds, but the main thing to remember is, make comfort your #1 priority. All the rest will come in their own time.

By the way, to quote a particular part of text, left click the mouse button and hold it down while swiping over the text the same as when copying it, then "Quote/Reply" will pop up. Select Quote. Clicking 'Reply' generally replies to the entire post.

Untitled.png

Then in the bottom of the window where you type, click on "Insert quotes..." and it will apply.
 
Blooming & Breaking in Brushes
I was very pleased with the epoxy job. I have never done it before. Now I’m confident when my knot drops out of my Plisson. No problem. in 1986 I purchased my Plisson and a pair of two band badgers. The Yaqi and Oumo knots are my first badger purchases since then. I must say these are not your daddy’s badgers or your granddaddy’s badgers. There should of been music with the blooming. I was surprised. We could say big, but I’m thinking Jumbo. Each badger was done the same, hand lather up with dawn detergent, complete rinse and repeat. Hand lather up Proraso Red, rinse and repeat. Jumbo blooms hold so much water the weight can literally pull the brush out of your hand. It happened with both brushes, until I held on tighter. The hairs on both brushes will go through the same routine next time with longer lather soaks to help with the medium animal funk. I am in no hurry to use them and will repeat the breaking in process until the brushes are smelling and feeling good. These knots will be interesting to use. Photo of my Plisson beside them shows what I have been used to for size. Full face and head shaves will give them plenty of skin. I still have an uncomfortable feeling with and about the chubby acrylic handle. So I’ll be keeping a lookout for 27 or 28 mm chubby handles. The Barber Pole Tuxedo is a 30mm knot looking small beside the 28mm badger.

The two boars went though the same bloom routine and now they will start their break in. Twenty four hours in refrigerator, hand lather session, towel workout, let brush totally air dry out and repeat process. This process will be repeated three or four times as required. The black and white boar feels very much like my Zeinth Chubby only smaller. The aqua badger feels somewhere between the Zenith Chubby and the Zenith Horse. They will both change considerably as they reach their sweet spot. After breaking in the Zeinth Chubby and the Zenith Horse I am not remotely interested in how a brush feels on my face and head skin while it’s breaking in. Been there done that. My sensitive moustache and neck skin areas are exonerated from any more breaking in duties. The animal funk on both boars is lighter than the funk on the badgers. I am looking forward to preparing these beautiful brushes for use. Other than the disappointing construction of the acrylic chubby handle, this has been a fun brush experience.

The two boar handles were $22.37, two boar knots $27.00 the two band $40.41 the silvertip $52.88 blue acrylic handle $26.57 chubby acrylic handle $39.86 total $209.09 cad or $148.04 usd which is a nice price for four brushes.

AliExpress have their 11 11 sale November 11th. I missed last years but looking forward to this years.
HANDLE FAILURE

My hunch (Or maybe it was obvious) on the brush having a weak spot popped. Unless you are very lucky. You will have to do a minimum amount of sanding. If only to rough up or in my case also increase hole size. My first impression was how can a small porous wood section survive in an acrylic water filled area. I waited 86days for this handle. I imagine if I followed the return protocol I could have returned it. This 26mm knot style requires a 27 or 28mm hole. An inquiry to AliExpress confirmed their position was there was no problem using a 26mm handle. That is correct if there is enough wall material to sand out and expand the hole size 2 too 3 mm. It didn’t look good. With me anxiously waiting so long and wanting to increase the badger herd, I pressed on.

The Repair

I tried using copy paper to insulate the hair from the glue. Doubled parchment paper worked great. Even though I epoxied four brush knots into four handles in under eight minutes. This kind of a glue Job requires moving and fitting. Any epoxy smears would be difficult to deal with. The Weldbond I’ve used successfully but not with water applications. This is a temporary repair. Inevitably I am going to have to re knot and sin no more. I gave the repair 24hrs and resumed the cleaning and de funking of the knot. It required the same dozen or so Dawn and Proraso hand lather work outs to remove the film or coating off the hairs before it would produce lather. Same as the 28mm knot when the lather kicked in it was like afterburners. I’m very fond of boar hair and my horse hair brush but I love badger. The vigorous hand lathering sessions easily would duplicate a normal three pass face and head shave. Everything held together. The last photo I took outdoors for the light, expanding the repair area it seems to be holding. I think the wood component will continue swelling eventually bringing handle failure.

I usually don’t prefer small handles because of my arthritic hands. This handle was no different and it was a slippery little devil. Viola two o rings because of the repair. I not only like the handle I’m ga ga for it. The handle is light and thin with a great grip purchase. The handle kind of disappears and it feels like your holding the knot plug, but very comfortable. I hope the handle holds together long enough for a couple of shaves. I’m very impressed with these badger knots so far. The first time I came across o rings on a brush handle was @Chan Eil Whiskers on the bottom of a white handle. Jim do you think the o rings will hold the handle lip together very long? Any acrylic stubby handles 27 to 28mm with 15mm depth. Under $70.00 cad is the handle I will be looking for. I would appreciate any recommendations.
 

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Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
Contributor
I don't know that the O Rings do anything more than look good and maybe improve the grip, but they are strong so maybe.

I saw, @JoWolf, on Oumo a handle kinda like what I think you're looking for, but it may be sold by now. If so, another might show up there.

Happy shaves,

Jim
 
By the way, to quote a particular part of text, left click the mouse button and hold it down while swiping over the text the same as when copying it, then "Quote/Reply" will pop up. Select Quote. Clicking 'Reply' generally replies to the entire post.
Thanks, I didn't know that! I've been clicking 'Reply', then deleting everything around it. It gets tedious for multiple quotes.
 
The pre shave gives me the glide I want on the first pass. The post shave is comfortable but not top rated.
I've been finding that Proraso Green Preshave has enabled me to get some truly superb post shaves. So good I almost can't describe but it's addictive. Cooling, moisturising and like I haven't even shaved. It feels better than it sounds, hahah! I've become a chaser of great post shaves. Later, I'll be trying to add in BBS, rather than the other way round.
 
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